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Fuel Saving Tips for Trucks: Reduce Idling, Save On Gas

Fuel Saving Tips for Trucks: Reduce Idling, Save On Gas

Study proves turning your vehicle off minimizes both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

You may have heard that it takes more fuel to turn your vehicle off and back on again than it does to stay idling when stopped. One fast food chain even made a claim that it was “Greener” to use the drive-through than parking and walking in for a to-go order. With fuel costs and anti-idling laws being an essential consideration for vehicle owners and fleet managers, it’s important to know the facts.

The fact is that even for short stops, it saves fuel to turn off your vehicle. Idling for even 10 seconds produces more CO2 emissions and burns more fuel than simply turning your engine off, and restarting. This was found by a study done by Argonne National Laboratory, and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program.

Idling Study Results

Engineers were tasked to study vehicles in the Argonne laboratory’s Advanced Powertrain Research Facility to determine the impacts of idling and restarting. Dynamometer tests were conducted at the facility and revealed that parking a vehicle, turning it off, and then restarting it uses less fuel and produces less CO2 than idling for just 10 seconds. In addition, the study also revealed that the fastest way to warm up a car engine is to drive the vehicle, not by idling it. Argonne found that depending on the vehicle’s size, 0.2 to 0.5 gallons of fuel per hour is used when idling.

Embrace Anti-Idling Laws

With these findings, and as states, provinces, and countries continue to introduce climate change action plans and green initiatives focused on greenhouse gas emissions, now is the perfect time to start embracing an anti-idle mindset in day-to-day driving and work operations. And for those that use air compressors, the VMAC UNDERHOOD70 – Green Series Air Compressor integrates perfectly into environmentally-friendly and fuel-conscious operations.

UNDERHOOD70-Green Series Air Compressor

The VMAC UNDERHOOD70 – Green Series Air Compressor produces up to 70 CFM at 100% duty cycle. This powerful rotary screw air compressor is installed under the hood of the work truck and its throttle control automatically adjusts truck engine idle speed just enough to match air demand, which reduces fuel consumption. What’s more, the easy-to-use VMAC intelligent digital controls also cut down on idling, as the control system shuts the truck off when air isn’t being used, and then automatically turns the truck back on when air is needed. This reduces fuel consumption and emissions as the vehicle is not idling when tools are not in use. Learn more about the VMAC UNDERHOOD70 – Green Series Air Compressor.

Vehicle Idling Study Conclusion

Going back to the fast food chain’s claim, no, it is not greener to use the drive-through than it is to park and pick up your order inside the restaurant. Here are the facts:

  • Idling for more than 10 seconds burns more fuel, and produces more C02 emissions than turning the engine on and off
  • Idling for an hour uses 0.2 to 0.5 gallons of fuel, depending on the vehicle, and fuel consumption increases as idling speed increases
  • Warming up a vehicle by driving is more effective than idling

Consider these findings next time you find yourself idling your truck, whether working on a job site, picking up a food order, or warming up your truck this winter. And when planning to purchase a new air compressor, consider the VMAC UNDERHOOD70 – Green Series Air Compressor.

Related blogs: Going Green with VMAC: Lightweight & Fuel Saving Air Compressors